The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has long been considered the most capable member of the company’s Micro Four Thirds lineup. It was the first camera produced by the firm to have focus peaking, an antialiasing filter-less sensor, phase detection autofocus, and more excellent frame rates.
However, in the three years since its initial release, rival cameras dominate the market. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 has established itself as a leader in the video industry. Sony has impressed us with the A6000-line’s laser-quick autofocus and introduced the A7 range of full-frame mirrorless cameras. Both of these developments have helped the company maintain its position as a market leader. Then there’s Fujifilm, which, along with the X-T2, is our go-to choice for the best mirrorless camera available today.
Olympus is trying to level the playing field with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II release. The result is a newly redesigned camera that has a sensor with a more excellent resolution of 20.4 megapixels, a vastly improved 121-point cross-type AF system, and increased in-body image stabilization, in addition to the ability to record 4K video and Olympus’ most excellent video-shooting features to date.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Features
Since its introduction in the Pen-F, Olympus’ brand-new 20.4-megapixel image sensor has made its way into the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Olympus has modified the image sensor for enhanced noise reduction, and it now has 121 cross-type AF on-chip phase-detection points scattered across the whole frame. Even though the resolution has remained the same, Olympus has made these improvements.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Build Quality
At first appearance, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II appears to be virtually indistinguishable from its forerunner. The appearance of the camera has seen almost minor alterations, except for a slightly elevated chassis and mode dial. Olympus has maintained practically the same ergonomics on its flagship camera, in contrast to the Mark II versions of the E-M5 and E-M10, which both had significantly reworked grips and dials.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Autofocus
Olympus has equipped the E-M1 Mark II with its most advanced and comprehensive autofocus system. It has 121 focus points and can identify subjects using either contrast or phase.
On paper, this may not seem as spectacular as the autofocus (AF) system found on other mirrorless camera systems, such as the Sony A6500 (425 phase-detection and 169 contrast-detection points), or even the Fujifilm X-T2 (153 phase-detection and 153 contrast-detection points) (169 phase-detection and 156 contrast-detection).
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Performance
Olympus is turning up the temperature with the extraordinary performance of the E-M1 Mark II’s rapid shooting mode. It will be possible for photographers to capture up to 60 frames per second with the autofocus and exposure compensation locked or 18 frames per second with the autofocus and compensation tracking continuously.
Olympus has also included a Pro Capture option in its cameras to assist consumers in capturing those crucial moments. When you partially press the shutter button, the new functionality will configure the camera to start buffering a stream of images immediately. After taking your picture, the camera will save all of the frames you had taken together with the 14 structures captured before fully activating the shutter.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Image Quality
The new 20.4-megapixel sensor that debuted in Olympus’ Pen-F has already demonstrated its value, and it performs even more admirably in the E-M1 Mark II. Even though we are using JPEGs, the resolution improvements are clear, the colours are vivid while maintaining a natural appearance, and there is a significant amount of dynamic range at work. We go so far as to claim that the picture quality of Mark II’s files appears to be on par with that of Fujifilm’s new 24.3MP sensor, which is included in the X-T2 and the X-Pro2.
At the time of this writing, there is no Camera RAW support for the files produced by the OM-D E-M1 Mark II; however, we will update this review as soon as this feature becomes available.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w:h||4:3|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||22 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 200-25600 (expands down to 64)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||64|
|White balance presets||7|
|Custom white balance||Yes (4 slots)|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5.5 stop(s)|
|File format||JPEG (Exif 2.3)Raw (Olympus ORF)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||121|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.48× (0.74× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/32000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual|
|Built-in flash||No (FL-LM3 external flash included)|
|Flash range||9.10 m (at ISO 100)|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)|
|Flash modes||Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(2nd curtain), Manual|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Continuous drive||60.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 12 secs, custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Modes||4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots|
|USB||USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Remote control||Yes (wired or via smartphone)|
|Battery description||BLH-1 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||574 g (1.27 lb / 20.25 oz)|
|Dimensions||134 x 91 x 67 mm (5.28 x 3.58 x 2.64″)|
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Verdict
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is Olympus’ most outstanding feature-complete camera. It has a more advanced autofocus system, an interface that can be fully customized, reliable video functions, and a sensor with a more excellent resolution.